There was pandemonium in the Deidei area of Abuja, the capital of Nigeria on Wednesday, over the death of a woman.
It was gathered that the death of the woman, who is reportedly of Igbo tribe, escalated into a standoff between Hausa commercial motorcyclists and Igbo building material dealers in the area.
As the situation degenerated, nearby shops were destroyed, and fires were lit on the Zuba expressway, thereby obstructing vehicular movement. The incident turned violent and even those plying that axis in their cars were attacked as can be seen in this video.
A man, whose shop was also destroyed and who gave his name as Okechukwu said, “Around 2pm, an Okada man carried an Igbo woman. On their way to the market, an accident happened and the woman died; nothing happened to the rider.
“Unfortunately, the Igbo were there; they challenged the Okada rider that why would the woman die here. From there, a riot broke out and a lot of vehicles were damaged and people injured. They went to the Igbo market to scatter the market; they burned some of the shops. We are calling on the government to help us, as we don’t know the direction things will go right now.”
A commercial motorcyclist, who was clearly of Hausa decent, as he spoke in Hausa, blamed the riot on the Igbo traders in the market.
He said, “There was a timber shed; an Okada man was riding with an Igbo lady on his Okada; a driver knocked them down and the lady died. So, when the Igbo came and saw that the lady was dead, they began to go after Hausa Okada riders. That was what led to the crisis.”
In an interview with Punch Metro, a resident of the area known as Silas said the incident caused so much traffic until security men later salvaged the situation.
Silas said, “It all began when the Igbo questioned the death of the woman and were asking what to do about the situation, then the Hausa came out and started saying they could not do anything about it and that the woman was dead already. This further infuriated the Igbo and they started exchanging words. They burnt tires on the road, damaged cars and obstructed vehicular movements.”
On their part, the police, through the Spokesperson, Josephine Adeh, confirmed the incident and urged residents to remain calm as the police was on top of the situation.
She said, “Following the outbreak of civil unrest at Building Material Market in Dei Dei around 11.30am today (Wednesday), comprehensive deployment of tactical and intelligence assets of the command led by the Commissioner of Police, Babaji Sunday, drifted swiftly to the scene to ensure that the unrest was nipped in the bud and managed, thereby forestalling the destruction of private and government infrastructure, loss of lives and property and to restore normalcy to the situation.
“Our officers, in a concerted effort with other state apparatus, upon arrival at the scene, managed the uproar, preventing further disintegration of law and order.”